King County Search Dogs

KCSD is an all-volunteer unit of the King County Search and Rescue Association

Please call 911 if you have a search emergency

Search Missions since 1996
991
Total Training Hours in 2018
3038

What we do

SEARCH

King County Search Dog teams are deployed by County Sheriffs or State Emergency Management to help locate missing persons and evidence. KCSD volunteers and their dogs are certified in two main types of search activity; airscent (looking for any human in a wilderness or park environment) and trailing (looking for a specific human by following a search subject’s unique smells). Some KCSD teams have additional specialty search & rescue certifications for avalanche, disaster, water and human remains detection work. You can learn more in the WHAT we do pages.

TRAIN

King County Search Dogs train a lot! It takes eighteen months or more of training several times a week to develop a reliable airscent or trailing dog. Continued training is then required to pass periodic re-certification tests. In order to comply with the demanding core competency standards of the King County Search and Rescue Association, KCSD handlers and support personnel also undergo extensive training and testing in areas such as wilderness navigation, search & rescue techniques, radio communication, crime scene management, helicopter safety and searcher survival.

EDUCATE

Many KCSD members are respected search dog experts who in turn teach throughout the northwest and around the world.  KCSD also has an active outreach program to raise awareness of KCSD and to promote personal safety in the wilderness. KCSD members and their dogs visit schools, camps and other groups around King County to provide informative talks and demonstrations. You can find additional information on the Stay Safe and Education Pages.

More about what we do

WHO we are

KCSD Members are all volunteers from the Seattle metropolitan area (King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties) who give up hundreds of hours each year training their personal dogs to the professional calibre required for effective search missions. KCSD volunteers are available for missions 24 hours a day, seven days a week and come from all walks of life. Some members have been engaged in search and rescue work for over twenty years!  You can learn more about the history and governance of KCSD, browse photo and video albums, and find information on current and past KCSD teams and support personnel in the WHO we are pages.

YOU can help

KCSD dogs love to search! Nevertheless, we would much rather meet you at one of our outreach events than as the subject of a Sheriff’s search mission. Before you go out to enjoy the wonderful pacific northwest learn what common sense preparations you can make to keep your activities fun and safe. KCSD is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization and depends on help from the community it serves. You can help KCSD continue its important work through cash or in-kind donations to help the ongoing need for expensive specialized equipment and maintenance. Learn more on the YOU can help pages.

King County Search Dog News

Search Dogs Save Lives 🐾

Responding to a 2:30 AM call out in the aftermath of the worst Seattle snowstorm in 50 years, KCSD K9 Gilly and her handler Kris were able to find an at-risk individual missing since Tuesday afternoon before the sun came up. It was Gilly’s second find in the last 6 months! A great job by the whole King County Explorer Search and Rescue, King County Search and Rescue and King County Sheriff’s Office team!!

Congratulations Jen and K9 Zula!

Big news! 🎉 Congratulations to K9 Zula and our President-elect Jen for passing their trailing certification test today! They are now fully eligible for deployment on search missions: A big achievement for a great team!

♫ Come Fly with Me ♫

K9 Oso and Heather take to the sky! Thanks to the King County Sheriff Office Air Support Unit, KCSD recently had it’s 2018 helicopter training at Banderra airfield east of North Bend WA. All the dogs had a chance to practice loading into the helicopter with and without the engines running. The handlers and dogs then put on their harnesses and were hoisted up into Guardian 2 as it hovered 120 feet in the air. While it is a fun ride, it is serious business and on those occasions when helicopter transport is required KCSD dogs and handlers are ready […]

More Search Dog News